The Board of Directors of the Trail Historical Society (THS) would like to respond to a recent Letter to the Editor commenting on the future operations of the Riverfront Centre in downtown Trail. We wish to make it clear that the THS is very much looking forward to being an active partner in this venture and feels that some misconceptions about the project need to be clarified.
We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of so many volunteers and supporters over the last sixty years or so who contributed to the formation of the Trail Historical Society and the museum and archives for which it is responsible. However, we also acknowledge the material support provided by the City of Trail for the past two decades, in particular the financial means to employ a professional and qualified Museum Director.
There was also the provision, free of charge, of office space, IT hardware and support, office supplies and, significantly, museum and storage space, which made it possible to display and administer our artifact and archival collections. All of these factors have made possible today the housing of the museum and archives in the state-of-the-art Riverfront Centre, which will be a centrepiece in a revitalized downtown area.
Of course, there will be administrative changes due to the complexity of blending museum and library services into one facility. The THS Board, however, wholeheartedly supports the proposals as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the City and the THS in August 2017. Under this agreement, the THS continues to own and administer the artifact and archival collections while the City manages the facility and staff.
This removes the burden of staff management from the THS and frees up time and energy to do more of what it is mandated to do, such as develop community-based programs, work with schools, involve the senior population in telling the stories of Trail and bringing in travelling exhibits from across Canada.
In fact, our newly developed policies around exhibitions and programming are making the Board more effective and professional than ever before. They also maintain the THS’s final say in the use of its collections.
Trail Historical Society is excited about the Riverfront Centre and the opportunities it will offer you, the people of Trail, to become involved in your own history. It will be a vibrant community meeting place where citizens and visitors can gather to hear stories from the past and create their own unique ways of storytelling to leave for people in the future.
Beginning in 2018, the Society will begin a process of redefining our constitution and bylaws to reflect the new evolving structure of the THS. Directors’ roles and responsibilities will be clarified and new policies will be enacted to encourage active participation by the membership.
We invite you to become involved with the THS and work with us to make the Riverfront Centre something for which the City and the entire region can be proud.
Chairman of the Trail Historical Society
on behalf of the Board of Directors